Associate Professor of Biological Sciences (evolutionary biology and biology learning)
At Ross Reserve, Middle School and High School teachers will experience the ‘culture of discovery’ from a research university as they develop quantitative instructional methods to transform life science education in the outdoors near their own classrooms. Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) awarded a grant to Purdue University to fund a science education project entitled Deviating from the Standard: Integrating Statistical Analysis and Experimental Design into Life Science Education. Teachers will learn to help students find out "Which zone of the Ross Reserve has the highest biodiversity?" Their students will learn to identify a zone and then measure animal species abundance and species richness. With this evidence, children will learn how the physical environment and plant community influence which areas attract a larger number of animals and which ones attract many different kinds of animals. Soon, more children will be using hypothesis, prediction, evidence, reasoning, and written plus visual representations of their reasoning to experience the ‘culture of discovery’ outdoors, thanks to professional development activities for teachers at the Ross Reserve.
Visit Nancy Palaez's homepage for more detailed information about her research.